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The Ocean Blog

How do we know what coral reefs looked like hundreds of years ago? Often times, we are simply left wondering. Scientists can get an idea from naturalist recordings, but there are many unknowns and...
About the IBRC The Indonesian Biodiversity Research Center (IBRC) was founded in June 2010 by a group of seven international research institutions to promote biodiversity stewardship in Indonesia...
From parrotfish that cover themselves in a blanket of their own mucus to tiny pygmy sea horses, there are some bizarre sea creatures that live in coral reefs . In this slideshow you can explore some...
The Tubbataha Reefs National Park site in the Philippines was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1993. The site is an example of a pristine coral reef with a spectacular 100 m (330 ft)...
A candy basslet ( Liopropoma carmabi ) was just one of the specimens Smithsonian scientists collected from the deep reefs of Curaçao , in the southern Caribbean. To study biodiversity far below the...
This month, our friends at National Geographic are featuring Smithsonian's own bio-scavenger, Chris Meyer and his work in one of our favorite places: Moorea , French Polynesia. In a beautiful meld of...
On many of the dives, Oceana's 2011 Baltic Sea expedition team saw little wildlife in the oxygen-depleted areas. But near some marine protected areas, the crew saw an array of marine life, including...
Dr. Carole Baldwin , a research zoologist and fish expert with the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, gives viewers an inside-look at the Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP). She and...
Census of Marine Life researchers discovered this unusual transparent sea cucumber ( Enypniastes sp.) in the Gulf of Mexico at 2,750 meters depth. It creeps forward on its tentacles pretty slowly, at...
Remotely located in the central Pacific Ocean, south of Hawaii, the Line Islands provide a remarkable research opportunity. The archipelago includes coral reefs reflecting the whole spectrum of...
In 1954 Smithsonian researchers dissected this squid specimen from the stomach of a lancetfish and added it to the Museum’s squid collection. Almost 50 years later, it helped scientists identify a...
Sarah Gotheil, from IUCN Global Marine Programme , snapped this photo in the course of her research into fragile species and ecosystems. A new project led by IUCN will unveil the mysteries of...
Nudibranchs are mollusks that have evolved from shelled ancestors. Like the reddish-orange Coryphella verrucosa shown here, they're often noted for their vibrant colors and striking forms. View other...
Have you ever seen a creature so unusual? This fish (22 cm long) is called a sea toad and studying them requires luck and the opportunity to descend into the deep waters where they live. Last week Dr...
Climate and sea changes in the Southern Ocean create conditions that favor the growth of salps over krill , the latter of which are a vital food source for seals, whales, and penguins. Salps are...
Dr. Clyde Roper, Smithsonian zoologist and squid expert, tries to measure up to a giant squid specimen (Architeuthis) from New Zealand. The squid wins. More about the giant squid can be found in our...
Deep sea animals have to live in a very cold, dark, and high-pressure environment where they can't see a thing! To survive there, they've evolved some very strange adapations. Some make their own...
Scientists on the tiny island of Moorea, in the Pacific, are gathering one of every life form large enough to pick up with tweezers. They're on a quest to build a detailed catalog of the entire...
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